Make People Hate Your Writing!

No, I’m not drunk. I’m not writing this as a joke. I’m really saying that you should consider making certain people hate your writing. I’m completely serious. So…WHAT THE HECK IS WRONG WITH ME?!?! You can ask the same of Dan Brown, actually.

Dan Brown is the author of Da Vinci CodeAngels and DemonsInferno, and a few other notable hit thrillers.  You probably know that already as does just about everyone else in the world. You might think this odd, but I think that Dan Brown has been and is so successful because he was basically told that he could go to Hell by Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, who was at that time the right hand man of Pope Benedict XVI. Dan Brown, in my opinion, is so successful because everything that he writes causes great controversy. The Church rarely responds to criticism. In fact, it wasn’t until 2000 that a Pope apologized for the Spanish Inquisition and similar atrocities. In spite of that, the second highest ranking clergyman in all of Catholicism took the time to make it very clear to Mr. Brown that he and the Church wouldn’t be exchanging Christmas cards any time soon.

There are more than a few hard core Catholics like Cardinal Bertone hate Dan Brown’s writing. It’s an abomination to some Catholics, and they do everything that they possibly can to make certain that Mr. Brown and the whole world knows about it. People hate Dan Brown’s writing, but he’s the most successful author today relative to the number of books that he’s written. How can he and his writing be huge successes even though they’re both widely hated?

People gripe and complain about the things that they don’t like. If you were on Facebook for a few minutes today, you probably saw someone gripe about President Obama or blame every problem our nation has on President Bush or hate on every political leader since George Washington. It’s just a fact of life. People gripe about things they don’t like. However, as soon as someone gripes about a President, the Commander in Chief’s supporters usually immediately charge to his aid, and you then have a huge argument that can get quite heated. The same thing is true with your writing.

While Cardinal Bertone told Dan Brown that he could basically go to Hell, tons and tons of people, some of them Catholics, supported Dan Brown for taking a jab at the most powerful institution in history and suggesting that its highest ranking officials aren’t as pious as they seem. You see what that did, don’t you? Just as political leaders become famous because of the great arguments and debates surrounding them, Dan Brown, in my opinion, became famous because of all of the discussions and arguments that resulted from Da Vinci Code and Cardinal Bertone’s statements.

While I would certainly caution you against making your writing offensive just for the sake of stirring up trouble, I would certainly encourage you to make your writing as controversial as possible. People hate it, and people will love it. The hate will be worth it though when tons and tons of people know about your book.


Christian Lee is SOOP’s social media manager and book publicist, the CEO of Basilica Press, which is now owned by the new company on which he is working and which he owns in part, Sage Ink, of which he is the C0-CEO and CMO. He is also the author of Sealed, a Book Idea here at SOOP that’s writing style is inspired by Dan Brown’s in Angels and Demons greatly.


  1. Very interested by your comment “I would certainly encourage you to make your writing as controversial as possible”. I’m an indie author and author of The Christianity Myth, which explains in simple pragmatic terms, how Christianity really started without any need for divine intervention. I claim Jesus was just a mere mortal, I claim St Paul was just a self-deluded epileptic and I claim St Peter lied to St Paul about the resurrection in Jerusalem. Do you think this is controversial enough to illicit a reaction from Rome, assuming of course they got to hear about it?

    • Hi! Thank you for your interest in my post! I think one thing that you have to keep in mind is that it always behooves the Roman Curia (the governing body of the Roman Catholic Church) and the Holy See (basically “the Office of the Papacy”) to ignore things and to never admit that there is any threat to their prominence and power. For instance, it took the Holy See about two years to acknowledge that John Paul the Great was suffering from Parkinson’s Disease even though it was plainly obvious. John Paul the Great also did his best to hide injuries from an assassination attempt in Fatima, Portugal, by a Spanish priest. If anything could even slightly hint at the fact that the Church isn’t basically the most powerful entity in the world and that the Pope isn’t the most powerful man on earth, there’s almost no way that the Roman Curia or Holy See will say anything about it.

      I think that you certainly could get a response from a bishop or archbishop. I think it just takes a really extraordinary circumstance for the Roman Curia and or Holy See to blast someone. Leo X had to blast Martin Luther for pointing out the corruption in the Church because Martin Luther was a good priest and Leo X was easily among the top five most corrupt popes in history. Cardinal Bertone had to blast Dan Brown because Dan Brown was weakening the Church’s firm hold on doctrine in a time when the Church was already being hit from all sides with regards to the various scandals that it has suffered recently. I don’t think there’s really one of those special circumstances right now. Pope Francis is enormously popular. Last I checked, he had an eighty six percent approval rating in the United States. It just seems to me that it would be more harmful to the Church to blast someone than helpful since they’re on the rebound in terms of prominence and power.

      Hope that helps! 🙂 (By the way, all opinions expressed here are mine and do not reflect SOOP’s in any way.)

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